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CNN - April 24, 2019

(CNN)Bernie Sanders has been running for president for the last four-ish years straight. In the wake of his closer-than-expected primary loss to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Sanders kept his massive grassroots organization active and made sure anyone and everyone knew that he wasn't done with this whole "national politics" thing.

But as of late, for the first time in more than 1,000 days as an official (and unofficial) candidate, Sanders has climbed to the top of the mountain: He is, as of today, the leader of the Democratic 2020 pack, according to our updated power rankings.

Why? Well, lots of reasons. But here are a few:

  • That national organization built over the last four years and assiduously maintained by Sanders and his politica allies is more robust than anything any other candidates in the race -- including Joe Biden, who's set to announce Thursday -- have at the moment.
  • Sanders is likely to raise the most money of anyone in the field. He brought in north of $18 million in the first three months of 2019, with 84% of those contributions coming in at under $200. That was the biggest total of any 2020 Democrat. And there's every reason to think he can keep it up; he raised $237 million for his 2016 race against Clinton.
  • His path to the nomination is the easiest to see, with Iowa's caucuses dominated by liberals and his geographic proximity to New Hampshire.
  • Sanders' liberalism -- once considered radical -- is now very much en vogue within the party. And he's been in that space for a very long time.

Again, the mantle of front-runner is a tough thing to pin down. Most voters remain largely disengaged from the primary process so far and may not truly focus on the race until late this year or early 2020. Our rankings, however, are aimed at capturing a moment in time. Who, if the primary fight began today, would be best positioned to win? And the answer to that question is the senator from Vermont. Below, the nine other people with the best chances of winning the Democratic nod next year, ranked by their chances at victory. ...
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